Online-only realestate agents v the High Street real estate agents
We've been reading a lot about ‘online-only’ agents who market properties nationwide. Their business model based upon taking instructions for property sales across the UK and using the main web portals to advertise on the seller’s behalf. Sounds fine. They charge significantly less commission payment than a traditional agents due to them not having to pay the labour costs and running costs associated with High Street premises.
The nasty business is that most of them claim to do the same thing as a traditional Estate Agency. There are lots reasons why this cannot be true. Looking carefully at the facts, it appears that by registering with an online-only agency who is trying to sell your property from a distance, you are effectively buying a ticket in the house moving lottery. Here’s why.Pricing: At best your online-only realtor will likely have utilised Rightmove and Zoopla as a price comparison guide. They are unlikely to have sold anything close-by and they certainly won't know very well what the house a few doors away sold for the previous week. They could know just how much it was it was being marketed for but not what price it achieved. On a new-build development, they won’t have any idea how a particular style of property created by one builder compares with another as well as the difference that this can make to respective prices. They won't know just how many buyers are looking in a particular area and what their reasons are. They won't know what influence the local school has, irrespective of the Ofsted reports and how much this affects the price compared with a similar property in a different location. They won't know where the perceived rough areas are and which particular roads are affected by this, because not all are. In fact an online-only agent will not be able to provide any useful, reliable local information at all to a buyer. Without this information to consider, your online-only valuation is just a guess formed using very limited price data.
Finding a buyer: An established High Street agency will have an existing database of Clients who are looking to buy in the area. The online-only real estate agents rely completely on web portals to generate interest. They would have no information relating to someone who has sold a smaller property who might want to trade up if the right property details are provided. There will be no cross-referencing, for example an individual calls about a specific house that is for sale and they can then be introduced to other properties on the market in the same area. An online-only agency does not cater for an elderly man or woman looking to downsize who may not go near a computer. Because there is simply no company to advertise in locally, there is nowhere for a potential buyer to call into for a chat. Some buyers like to pop back many times with an agent ahead of making a decision about making an offer. A trained accompanied viewer can provide information that a seller may not be able to. By being on the spot and also available, the chance of a owner getting not just any offer, but the best offer is greatly increased. The sale process: As we are talking about selling and not just getting an offer, it is really important that an office has enough personnel available to make certain that each sale gets the full attention required to reach a successful completion. If as an example something adverse on a property search comes up, would an online-only realtor have the required local knowledge to deal with it? It would be honest to say that very few of the difficulties that take place after a sale is instructed can be dealt with from afar. Conclusion: An online-only realtor offers a reduced chance of someone selling your home for a reduced fee. The house valuation will likely be significantly less exact and as a consequence the agreed sale price may not be the best price that you could have achieved. You may be asked for a listing fee in advance - an unrealistic valuation means that you will lose this fee if the property remains unsold. So generally in life you get what you pay for. A reduced fee means a reduced service. Selling your property using this cut-price method could prove to be a very expensive gamble.